Day 12 of 28 Days to Simplify My Life a la Pinterest: Prep Your Smoothies

As mentioned, I was skeptical of this one. The idea is to combine all the fruits and veggies in the quantities which you’ll need them, and then freeze together. But since we make smoothies that also include fish oil, water kefir, chia and hemp seeds and fresh fruit, it didn’t seem like this step would save us much time. Turns out I was wrong!

This tip comes from PopSugar‘s “DIY Smoothie Packs” post. The claim? “You can prep a whole week’s worth on Sunday night so a nutritious fiber- and protein-packed breakfast is just minutes away. It’s a great way to not only ensure a healthy start to your day, but you’ll save money since you can buy greens and fruit in bulk and won’t have to worry about them spoiling by the end of the week. Aim to use your smoothie freezer bags within a few weeks to avoid freezer burn.”

Well in fact, this was great timing! We are drinking green smoothies for breakfast every day, which means every morning one of us spends about 15 minutes gathering a couple different kinds of frozen berries and usually another frozen fruit (mangoes, peaches or pineapple); juice, coconut water, water or water kefir; hemp and chia seeds; spinach or lettuce; fish oil; as well as a fresh banana and avocado; then mixing those all up in the blender. The reason I was skeptical was that the frozen ingredients were such a small part of this equation. But this turned out to save us a lot of time!

Here’s what went into each large freezer bag: one banana, at least two cups of spinach (making it easier to buy large quantities of organic spinach and store without it getting slimy), a handful of raspberries or pineapple, and berries or other fruit to fill.

In the morning, we dump the bag in, add chia and hemp seeds (which we have pre-mixed in small jars near the blenders – less thinking!), measure out 2 tsp of flavoured fish oil (by NutraSea), carve out half an avocado and finally dump in at least half a pint jar of water kefir, which is also stored right by the blender, where it sits to ferment. It’s still a lot of steps, but now it takes 5 minutes or less. This is great!

Not the best photo, but aren't the colours pretty?

Not the best photo, but aren’t the colours pretty?

The easiest way is to make smoothies for breakfast on Sunday, and prep all the bags for the week at the same time. Healthy breakfasts for the week – check!

Tomorrow I’ll cook ground beef in the slow cooker. No photos, I promise!

Check out the Pinterest board for this series.

Overnight Mixed Berry Raw Oats

I have to be honest here: I am SO not a morning person. I’m a night owl, and an insomniac much of the time, and when the sun rises in the morning, I just want to stay under the covers for another few hours. So needless to say, I get out of bed at the last possible minute – which doesn’t always leave a lot of time for morning yoga, or breakfast. On mornings that I’m at home, I just take my time and eat a late breakfast as I go about my day. But when we need to be somewhere, I have to either starve till lunch (not a good idea for my sanity nor my metabolism) or plan something quick, easy and nutritious in advance.

Last spring while I was participating in the X-Weighted Challenge, an online friend that I met there suggested dry oatmeal, covered with frozen berries and left overnight to thaw. She’d been turned on to the idea by a personal trainer friend. This is quick, easy, and quickly became a new favourite breakfast in our house! It takes less than five minutes the night before, we always have the needed ingredients on hand, and is ready as soon as you roll, bleary-eyed, out of bed in the morning. And it packs a big hit of fibre and antioxidants!

Overnight Mixed Berry Raw Oats

Ingredients

  • oats – I use slow cooking, rolled oats, but would love to try this with steel cut oats to see how it works
  • frozen berries – I usually use blackberries, blueberries and strawberries, but any mix of your favourite berries will do
  • maple syrup (can be substituted with honey or agave or rice syrup)
  • cinnamon

Step 1….

Fill cup about 1/3 with dry oatmeal (I use slow cooking oats).

Step 2….

Added frozen, mixed berries to about another 1/3.

Step 3…..

Add a drizzle of sweetener – preferably maple syrup, though clover honey is shown.

Give a generous dose of cinnamon on top of the sweetener.

Step 4….

Cover with more oats, leaving room to mix; cover and let sit until morning.

Step 5….

The next morning – Enjoy! Take a big spoon and really stab it down into the oatmeal to break up the berries and mix everything together. Make sure you get that dry oatmeal down at the bottom.

The finished product after mixing thoroughly.

What you’re left with is kind of a semi-cooked texture – like oatmeal but chewier, or granola but not as crunchy and sweet. It’s so good! Neko loves it, and so do I – and it gives me the energy to get through my day.